“Pizza? I LOVE pizza slices!” Aria said as we loaded up the car in preparation for our trip to Bromley Mountain in Vermont. After explaining to her that the “pizza slice” was a teaching tool she’d likely hear at her ski lesson, not a lunch option, my 6-year-old daughter was still excited to dive into the adventure of learning to ski.

Warming Up by the Fire at Bromley Mountain, Vt.
Rachel and Aria at Warm Up by the Fire at Bromley Mountain, Vt.

From the Parking Lot to the Slopes

Bromley Mountain in Vermont is known as “The Family Mountain” for its easy access to great skiing and promises of fun for the entire family, no matter their ability. Bromley didn’t disappoint as we had an amazing time both on and off the snow. 

As first-time skiers, both my daughter and I were feeling a little nervous about what to expect when we pulled into the familiar parking lot. We had visited Bromley last summer and had a working knowledge of the mountain concerning warm-weather activities, but this was our first trip to the mountain in winter. We arrived around mid-morning and immediately found parking in the oversized lot across the street. It was a short walk to the main lodge and rental area as we took in the crisp air and mountain views.  

Rentals at Bromley
All set up for rentals and ready to learn how to ski.

Arriving 45 minutes ahead of the lesson, we were able to take our time signing in and going through the rental process. This also left extra time for the inevitable bathroom run and for us to find a cubby for our gear. It was the first time renting gear for both Aria and me, but once inside, the sign-in process was easy and the folks in the rental shop were knowledgeable and very helpful. Boots, skis, poles, and helmets seemed to come to us along with a cascade of new information. The rental crew wasted no time in getting us outfitted for our day. We even got pro-tips on how to carry all of our fun new gear and not look like total newbies. As it turns out, skis are pretty heavy and cumbersome, and interlocking the skis together with the ski brakes, and holding them as one item was so helpful.

Tips for carrying skis: 

  1. Holding the skis upright. Pick them up by the binding (the bit that sticks out where you attach them to your boots).
  2. Make sure to hold them by the ski with the supporting break (lower ski)
  3. Lift it up off the ground in one hand, while holding the two ski poles in the other hand.
Learning to ski at Bromley
Getting the pep talk from Billy.

Learning to Ski

Once on the mountain, we met Billy Davidson, the ski school director who would be our instructor for the day. We were excited to have a private lesson; exclusively for first-time skiers, which cut down on the feelings of vulnerability as we were both learning something new in a completely foreign environment. Billy and his staff were excellent, and our lesson was full of learning opportunities and fun challenges. We immediately felt at home on the mountain with Billy in the lead as he wrangled us into starting positions and gave instructions on balancing, moving, and turning. Most importantly, my daughter learned how to ride the magic carpet without falling down! The care, attention, and patience Billy exuded were terrific, and he taught us how to navigate the mountain with clear, concise instructions.

Magic Carpet lift at Bromley
Staying upright on the magic carpet!

Aria and I both learned to turn and stop with the aid of a hula hoop (a pink one for Aria!). It helped teach us how to maintain balance and stand independently while sliding forward and resisting the urge to lean back. After a few runs down the hill with the hula hoop, we were both feeling pretty confident. I was personally amazed that Billy had the stamina and wherewithal to teach both Aria and me simultaneously—two beginners in totally different age groups! 

The private lesson that we experienced was but a drop in the bucket when it comes to the types of amazing programming available to kids (and parents) at Bromley. The Mighty Moose Program (for kids ages 3-5), and the Kids Rule Mountain Camp (ages 6-12) offer the same wonderful instruction that we experienced for kids of varying ages and difficulty levels. There is even an adaptive lessons program.

The Family Mountain

One of the things we love most about Bromley is that families of all ability levels can ski here and feel comfortable. There are easier green circle trails for beginners and a range of more advanced trails. The beauty is that all of the trails end up at the same base. After a day of skiing, everyone in the family, no matter their ability or level of adventure, will end up in the same spot to celebrate their adventures.

The more comfortable I became as a new skier on the mountain, the more I realized just how valuable this dynamic is. I’m looking forward to the day (after a few more lessons) when I can really hit the slopes solo and guilt-free. To have the peace of mind that I can check in on my daughter as she learns to turn and stop with the best of them while I play up on the mountain was a beautiful idea to look forward to.

Bromley ski sign
Welcome to Bromley

Accessible Adventure

As a new skier, and as someone who is an advocate for diversity in the outdoor spaces, I’m always thinking about accessibility. The excellent and private instruction available at Bromley along with the approachable and knowledgeable staff provided a feeling of safety that both new skiers and folks of traditionally marginalized communities in winter sports crave so deeply. The environment at Bromley gave us the freedom to learn and made us feel like it was okay to be new, it was ok to ask questions, and that we would be looked after on the mountain.  With an $89 per lift ticket price tag (all day, every day!) Bromley is certainly positioning itself to make winter sports more financially accessible for people as well.

If you’re looking for an approachable, family-oriented mountain for your next (or first) winter adventure then Bromley is a great choice. From learning to ski to rentals, Bromley has your back. You can expect a fun day on the mountain with professionals who are committed to having first-time skiers win and foster a long-term love for winter sports. As of February 2022, COVID-19 protocols were still in full effect on the mountain, so don’t forget your masks (while indoors). If you are a first-timer, here is a bonus packing list (just the basics) for hitting the slopes with kids in tow!

The first time snow adventurers packing list (not including rental gear):

Snacking at Bromley
Snacks are key to a successful day on snow!


Win a family pack of 4 lift tickets to Bromley Mountain

Share your first-time ski or snowboard experiences in the comments below to be entered. The contest ends at midnight on Monday, February 7! We will choose winners on Tuesday, February 8.


  • I also first started skiing at Bromley with the help of my husband! It is still one of my favorite mountains (that sun!). So darn family friendly and great low key vibe.

  • For me, there’s nothing better than parking lot to mountain skiing with kids. It’s just so much easier at the end of the day. No one wants to leave crying after a fun day!

  • The first time we took the kids skiiing, they were young and so curious and excited. My son was 7 and daughter was 4. I remember my daughter looking like a big pink marshmallow with her puffy snowsuit! I fully expected my daughter to cry and ask to go with me and my husband- as she always did . No kids club or activities without mommy and daddy for her lol .
    The opposite happened! They LOVED it. The staff and instructors knew what they were doing. Both kids had a blast and were skiing!! When we went to pick them up they had one question…. Can we stay longer? Then one more question…. When can we come back?

  • I first skied at Ascutney Mountain, they had such an excellent learning area with fun obstacles. Now I’m teaching my 3 yr old at Sunapee… another outstanding learning area. We always keep it fun – lots of snacks and snacks e bring stuffed animals in our coats.

  • My first time skiing was in 1990 in North Carolina. We were on a church ski trip and took lessons to pizza and French fry! Fast forward to 2003, I moved from Florida to Vermont and became a ski instructor! Taught my wife to ski in 2011 and my daughters during their first winters!! They both learned to ski in the front yard, progressing to easy greens at local mountains in Connecticut until this winter when they took their first ski vacation to Bromley. There we worked on our turns, J turns, gliding wedges and starting to carve! They both love the quad because we can all ride together, mama is a little scared, and because we can see all the skiers coming down the hill. Their favorite is when we get to the top and can see for miles in all directions!!

  • My first time skiing was at 28 y.o. and my ski instructor fiancé was going to teach me to ski. We started on the pony hill at small MA ski hill and as hesitant as I was he decided we should go for the chairlift.
    Up we went. He talked all the way up distracting me from thinking about what was coming and he kept making sure I knew what to do…Stand Up!!!
    Time to unload. (The hill to get off this particular chair lift is steep, not a slight hill like some)
    That’s when I blacked out! I stood up, I gripped onto him, fully leaning into him and didn’t really know what happened until he was pushing me off of him at the bottom!
    I am 12 years later I am still nervous for unloading from the chairlift but I do it and almost always stand up!
    Now we ski with our 2 young girls and I am glad that I am not missing out on the fun of skiing as a family.

  • Bromley is our home town mountain and our favorite! Twenty minutes from home to the chair, can’t beat that. My family has been skiing there for as long as it has been open!

  • I learned to ski when I and a few friends joined the ski club at my high school. We took lessons every week until we made it down the mountain. We had fun because we all laughed at each other each time we fell down.

  • I learned to ski when my parents took me skiing. We went to Bromley and Jiminy Peak to learn. At first my parents had to wait for me to catch to them on the slopes. But it quickly turned around and I was waiting for them to catch up at the bottom.

  • My sister and I were taught by my parents. We went to Bromley and a few other places. My Dad still says his sore back is due to the hours he spent bending over picking me up and teaching me to ski.

  • My grandfather taught me to ski. He would bring me to a mountain and we would go up the magic carpet and down the bunny hill. Whenever I got tired he always had a lot of patience with me. The fact that we stopped for an ice cream cone on the way home always helped too.

  • Both of my kids learned to ski and snowboard at Brinkley. Once they got good enough to go the Summit was a memory I will not forget. The thrill of that Summit view and the long ride down was awesome. A great Mountain for kids to learn the sport.

  • The first time I started skiing, I was 18 years old. I though I was cool, I couldn’t turn, but just go parallel. I skiied right to get on a lift. I fell getting on it. I fell every 5 feet. I loved the rush I got from skiing. Now I am reliving my experience through my 4 year old who is taking lessons.

  • First time snowboarding was an icy day at Mt Snow. Several hard falls ended the day with an ice pack on my elbow and a drink. Probably should have paid for the lesson. Swore I would never go again…..fast fwd 20 years and it is my favorite winter activity. I drag my family to the mountain almost every weekend!

  • We took our kids downhill skiing for the first time this year. They both took to it rather quickly and are already outskiing me! It’s such a fun way to be outside together and I love getting those one on one chats on the lift and tbar!

  • I remember learning to ski under the lights at Vernon valley in NJ. My family didn’t ski, but I was lucky enough to have my friend’s parents that didn’t mind me tagging along on their family ski days. Looking forward to getting my little kiddo started soon!

  • I didn’t learn to snowboard until I was 25, newly married, and my husband really wanted to teach me. We spent a week at Killington, and I didn’t think I was going to enjoy using my precious few vacation days to be somewhere even colder than home (NYC at the time, Boston now), but after the 3rd day, I was completely hooked! Fourteen years later, and each of our 3 kids has been on skis from when they turned 2, and everyone loves it! I’m so grateful to have learned to snowboard (and then ski a few years later) because it makes me really excited for winter!

  • My son just did his first time ski lesson a few weeks ago and is obsessed! He said why do I have to go to school? I just want to ski!

  • My uncle took me to the top of the bunny slope and before he could explain to me how to turn I had terrifyingly pointed it to the bottom. That was many years ago and now I’ve had the honor to share this incredible experience with my two boys and they seem to love it as much as I do!

  • I read everything on your website and looked at all the pictures. This place sounds amazing and would love to take my family here.
    My family and I are taking lessons for the first time this year at willard mountain. They have been amazing with us and extremely patient for sure. I feel like we are a family when we go there everyone is always willing to help out.
    This is the feeling I felt after reading the comments and browsing through your website. Now that we can ski and snowboard oh how we would love to come visit!!

  • My husband grew up skiing. So when the kids were old enough to learn I realized I had to learn too. At 43 I decided to give it a shot. I promised I’d try it for the whole season and at the end of the season say yay or nay to the sport. With lots of practice and encouragement I stuck with it. I’m not adventurous, blues and greens are fine with me, but I love having something to look forward to in the winter.

  • My two older children (4&6 then) and I started skiing last winter for the first time. I decided to start skiing with them to have something safe and outside to do during the pandemic. We gained so much more!

    Our first trip was on a Thursday evening. The lights were on and next to no one was on the Might Might (learning hill). My 6 year old was fearless and went ahead – making it to the bottom with reasonable form even! I was so incredibly proud of his bravery. My 4 year old and I couldn’t do it though. We were overwhelmed with fear. We sat down together at the top of the little hill and talked about it. We stood up and sat back down a few times. Finally, my 6 year old convinced us to try it. We decided we would. We both did an ugly plow all the way down – falling a few times, but we did it. We were so happy at the bottom. Cheering for each other. The bonding with my children in that moment was authentic – we overcame something together – we were genuinely proud of ourselves and the other two family members. We have improved quite a bit since that day! None the less we still face new challenges every weekend – how to use the lift, how to cope with different snow conditions, how to approach a new slope. We have developed family call and response chants that we yell going up the lift and down the hill – these things are fun and sources of encouragement.

    This weekend my boys learned how to do gates in a children’s ski class. I sat at the bottom of the hill proud of them, but honestly sad because I knew they were outgrowing my skill set. We ate lunch and talked about their exciting new skills! Then out of no where my (4year old – now 6) told me he was going to teach me how to do the gates! And that he and his brother did! They are much faster and braver, but here we are – doing it again!

    Learning, Challenging, and encouraging each other!

  • I would love to win these tickets so I could ski at a non-epic mountain for once this season!!! I’ve only been to bromley for a moms day out (do they still do that? i should check) and it was lovely! I grew up xc skiing, terrified of downhill, but now i love downhill skiing with my kids. I learned at Bluehill outside Boston, but we did as a family go up to waterville valley once per year growing up :)

  • we love bromley! my whole family, including me, learned to ski there! great, reasonably priced, family friendly mountain with great trails.

  • Love these stories! My first time skiing with kids was in the Midwest where I grew up, but there’s no comparison to Vermont and Bromley! So family friendly with the right level of challenge for newbies!

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